Gouger Street may be the epicentre of Chinatown, and while it plays home to some of Adelaide’s best Chinese restaurants, there’s a whole lot more on offer. From steakhouses to karaoke bars, the Gouger St strip doesn’t leave much to be desired, so we’ve put together a list of our favourite hotspots.
East Taste Restaurant
Since its inception in 2003, East Taste has cemented itself as a Chinatown institution, dishing up traditional Chinese fare to the masses, with a bevy of vegetarian options, $9 corkage and dining into the wee hours.
Must haves: BBC (stir-fried broad bean curd with Chinese chutney) / Salt and pepper eggplant / Shallot cake
119 Gouger St, Adelaide / Easttasterestaurant.com.au
Mexican Society of Chinatown
It was only last year Mexican Society replaced Mesa Lunga on the corner of Gouger and Morphett Streets, and they were big shoes to fill. But luckily we weren’t disappointed, with the fresh face introducing a new cuisine to the strip, while weaving in two jam-packed banquet menus for those who prefer to let the kitchen feed them.
Must haves: Grilled corn on the cob with coffee mayonesa / Tuna ceviche / Crispy pork ribs
140 Gouger St, Adelaide / Mexicansociety.com.au
Gaucho’s Argentinian Restaurant
Hailed as Australia’s pioneering Argentinian restaurant, the 25-year-old Gaucho’s has well and truly made its mark on Gouger St, putting a spotlight on the chargrill and sharing an unequivocal passion for South Australian produce. Nb. All main courses are served with traditional steak cut chips. Win-win.
Must haves: Riverine 250g grain fed fillet steak / Chargrilled lamb cutlets with green chimichurri / Gaucho’s signature chimichurri sauce
91 Gouger St, Adelaide / Gauchos.com.au
Wasai Japanese Kitchen
This hidden gem is tucked away on Field St, just off Gouger, but it sure knows how to pull a crowd. Fresh sushi and sashimi lead the charge at Wasai, with one of the best Aburi salmon rolls in town, but there’s no shortage of our Japanese favourites such as Tempura udon and Jigoku ramen. We recommend booking to avoid disappointment.
Must haves: Aburi salmon roll / Deep fried eggplant with sweet miso paste / Tempura seafood and vegetables
9/15 Field St, Adelaide
Just up the street from Wasai on the recently developed Field St is Thanh Thanh, which takes a no fuss approach to the traditional Vietnamese staples we know and love. Pho and combination rice dishes are their speciality, while bright red tables set the scene for a fast and furious service that doesn’t skimp on quality.
Must haves: Wrap your own cold rolls with grilled pork meatballs / Pho tai with fresh sliced beef / Wonton noodle soup
18 Field St, Adelaide
The Loft Wine Bar
Having just introduced an Asian-inspired menu, The Loft has both your eating and drinking needs covered. Perched one level above the hustle and bustle of Gouger St, it’s the perfect hangout for everything from a pre-dinner cocktail to a full on feed.
Must haves: Thai-style oysters / Love Lane’s fried chicken wings / Signature roasted pork belly
1/128 Gouger St, Adelaide / Loftbar.com.au
La Sing Karaoke Bar
Let’s be honest, there’s no such thing as a bad night at La Sing. And how could there be, with punters belting out classic tune after classic tune, and the guys behind the bar serving up cheap drinks into the early hours. The colourful characters make La Sing what it is – the perfect place to end your evening – and what it lacks in upmarket airs and graces, it makes up for with its charming, anything goes-y vibe.
Must haves: Anything by Daryl Braithwaite
261 Gouger St, Adelaide
Cover photo by Duy Dash.